As dungeon masters, we find inspiration for our games in all sorts of places. Whether it’s a interesting mechanic from a game, a neat plot line from a movie, or something else, we can find plenty of ways to supplement our storytelling. Right now I want to talk about one of these inspirations that have not only given me great ideas, but has molded how I write my campaigns as a whole. I’m talking about anime. The story structures and tropes that are common in anime can often line up with a D&D game (both tell stories, seems like a no brainer). These ideas that can be derived from anime line up with the game’s three pillars: exploration, social interaction, and combat. By identifying these tropes, we can utilize them to enhance our tabletop stories. Let’s take a look at these tropes and how they apply to Dungeons & Dragons. [Read more…]
D&DIY: Cheap Dice and Mini Case
As a seasoned veteran of Dungeons and Dragons, I have traveled near and far to engage in many adventures. Early on in these travels I ran into a problem: carrying my equipment. Books, pencils, maps, minis, dice; eventually it all adds up to one full arm full. Books, pencils, and maps have been taken care of thanks to backpacks. Dice bags are a popular part of the hobby, and for good reason. That leaves the minis. So I worked to come up with a solution for storing minis. Now there are also cases for minis, and darn good ones. But they come at a pretty hefty cost. So I set out to make a cheap mini case. I managed to make one for less than $5. And here’s how I did it. [Read more…]
Monster Spotlight: The Owlbear
The owlbear is perhaps the third most iconic monster in Dungeons and Dragons, behind dragons and beholders. However it clearly holds the crown for most iconic low level monster. The owlbear is one of the original creatures created by Gary Gygax and inspired by a handful of Japanese toys (the others are the bulette and rustmonster). It is exactly what you think it would be: a bear’s body with owl wings and head. So what makes it so recognizable? Let’s find out. [Read more…]
2018: A Year in Retrospect and Looking Forward
Happy New Year everybody! And what a year it has been! A lot has happened this year, making it fly by. More importantly, I’ve been planning a lot for the upcoming year, and I’ll share some of those plans with you here as well. But first, let’s take a look back at what happened this year. For only when we understand our past, can we understand our future.
I started off last year by trying something new: learning to paint minis. I actually learned a lot in the couple months I focused on it. I learned several techniques such as washing and drybrushing. Due to life getting busy I had to shelf it, but I still pull out the occasional mini to paint when I get a break. I still have a lot to learn, and I’d like to take what I have learned and apply it to more advanced projects, like terrain.
This year I also started my first campaign that I’ve ran in a long while. It was relatively short, as we finished up a couple of months ago. But it was great fun! I learned a few lessons during that campaign, mostly about pacing the story and when to focus on the characters. We’ve already started our new campaign, so I’m ready to utilize what I’ve learned. Perhaps you’ll see me use that knowledge if I stream our game?
And the arbitrary reward for post of the year goes to… my speedy sniper tabaxi character concept. You guys seemed to love this one more than any other post this year. Perhaps I’ll make more characters that break the game. I already have an idea for one or two.
The last post I want to look back on in the most important. It is the post about my story, the story of how I found D&D and how it saved me from depression. This one has been a long time coming, but it wasn’t until recently that I felt ready to share it. But it’s important for you to know why I’m here, and why I’m doing BravoBard. The amount of support I’ve gotten concerning this is overwhelming, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
And that’s it for this year! Let’s look on to the next. For this upcoming year I plan on going in hard. I want to post more frequently and regularly. I’m also going to be trying new things. The two big things are Twitch and Youtube.
For Youtube I’m aiming for more short format guides. Stuff that can help new players and veterans alike in easily digestible sized times. The first videos will probably be rehashes of my more useful posts here, but I’m open to any suggestions! The other format of video I’m going to pursue is Twitch. This includes running games, whether it be my own personal game or one with viewers. It will also include, more often than the other option, prep sessions where you can get an insight into my preparation process. I may even have a surprise event or two up my sleeve…
The other big step I’m planning is to be more ingrained in the community. This includes collaborations with other content creators, discussions with the community, and the like. This one is a little difficult for my introverted self, so once again I’m looking for suggestions.
Overall 2018 was a great year full of happiness and growth. 2019 is looking to double down on that. I can’t wait to see you all on the other side, rolling those dice high!
A Whole New World: A Look into World Building
So you’ve taken up the mantle of game master, either by necessity or by choice. You have your story, but you can’t quite figure out where to place it. In the world of storytelling that is tabletop RPGs, the world setting works as a stage for your players to act on. If your stage is nothing but a wooden floor and a hastily painted backdrop, then your actors won’t have much motivation to go out and explore your world. That’s why world building is so important! [Read more…]
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